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7 Smart Ways to Save Money on Pet Care

file.png Having pets can be a costly commitment. While those of us with furry family members know that it's worth every penny, the cost-conscious among us are always interested in finding ways to save money on pet care. Americans spend over 60 billion dollars every year on pets! A lot of this money goes into excessive treatments from the vet and high-pricedservices you may be able to DIY. In the interest of your wallet, here are 7 smart ways to save money on pet care, all while making the bestdecisions for your dogs' and cats' well being.

1. High Quality Food

We've said it before, and we'll say it again. Proper nutrition is the foundation of good health. If you feed your pets low-quality foods with fillers, you're more likely to be visiting the vet for medical issues down the line. Conversely, if you keep them at their best with high protein whole foods with a home-prepared diet or commercial food from a brand you really trust, the extra money you'll spend on chow timewill be far less than you'd otherwise spend on treating illnesses.

2. DIY Toys & Treats

We're all for buying premium treats and toys that are great quality and will last your pets a while. To keep your pet pantry and toy boxbrimmingwith goodies, it's also great to supplement store-bought items with homemade creations. Did you forget to cook that farmers market kale before it started to wilt? Blend itwith yourflour of choice and some unsweetened applesauce for irresistible dog biscuits with only 3 ingredients and no preservatives, all at a fraction of the price you're used to paying. Have some old t-shirts laying around? Make a rope toy in minutes without spending a single dime.

3. Pet Dental Health

Clean teeth and healthy gums will put your pet in the lucky minority of cats and dogs without dental disease. Since gingivitis can put your pet at greater risk of other serious conditionslikeheart, liver and kidney disease, you should make pet dental care a regular part of your routine. Choose the best dental chews, brush up and get a professional involved as you see fit. The more you can maintain your pets'pearly whites, the less you will have to spend on dental extractions and diseases caused by gingivitis.

4.Regular Checkups

Like people, pets need checkups with their medical care providers to make sure everything is going greatwith their health. Since pets age faster than people, it's especially important to stay on top of their schedule. A twice-yearly comprehensive exam at the vet's office can help you catch any medical issues before they get out of hand. Is your catgetting out of shape as he ages? His weight chart will let you know if you need to adjust his dietto get him back on track. Does your dog have itchy ears she can't stop scratching? Ask your vetif she might need a general ear cleaner before she ends up with an infection.It's a lot cheaper to prevent illnesses than to treat them!

5.Early Training & Socialization

Behavior problems can take a lot of intensive training (and money) to remedyif they've been going on long term. Whether you got your dogas a puppy or adoptedhim full grown, you should start training as soon as possible so he has the foundation heneeds to be a great pet. WhenSpotknows the rules and expectations from the get-go, he's less inclined to act out and cost you big bucks in corrective training down the line.

6. Groom Them Yourself

Even for small dogs, a professional grooming can cost upwards of $50. To take this job in-house, all you need is a set of basic grooming tools, a little pet training, and a bit of patience. For long-haired dogs and cats, it's important to brush their fur frequently to reduce matting and keep them clean. Invest in a set of clippers, some nail trimmers, and a quality pet wash, and you're on your way to saving bundles. Make sure to get your pets used to their fur and paws being handled first to make the experience as stress-free as possible for everyone involved.

7. Ditch Any UnnecessaryMeds

This one is big for us. Your vetprescribes expensive things like monthly pesticide-based flea & tick treatment and a myriad of different vaccines. It's up to you to decide what your pets actually need, what's unnecessary and what is just downright dangerous (ahem, pesticides). One surefire way to save money on pet care is to get your pets off of spot drops &flea pills and switch to a safe and effective natural product that costs less. What money-saving techniques have you tried to keep down the costs of owning your pets? Let us know your best tips & tricks!

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